Hawaii’s former Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is taking legal action against former ESPN talker Keith Olbermann and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for accusing her of being a Russian spreading “treasonous lies.”
Gabbard, a U.S. military veteran and former Democrat candidate for president, sent cease and desist letters to Romney and Olbermann, warning them to stop accusing her of treason and working with Russia against the U.S.A.
“When powerful, influential people make baseless accusations of treason, a crime punishable by death, in order to intimidate, silence and censor those who speak the truth, it has a chilling effect on our democracy,” Gabbard tweeted on Wednesday. “This cannot go unchecked.”
When powerful, influential people make baseless accusations of treason, a crime punishable by death, in order to intimidate, silence and censor those who speak the truth, it has a chilling effect on our democracy. This cannot go unchecked. https://t.co/evoefpc0Yd
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) April 20, 2022
Gabbard’s announcement specifically cites Keith Olbermann’s March 14 tweet in which he says Gabbard’s comments make a case for military arrest and imprisonment as a “Russian asset.”
They are Russian Assets and there is a war. There's a case for detaining them militarily. Trials are a sign of good faith and patience on the part of democracy.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 14, 2022
In the letter, attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon told Olbermann he “acted with actual malice when you defamed Representative Gabbard.”
“Representative Gabbard’s loyalty to the United States is beyond reproach, and you either knew your description of her as a ‘Russian Asset’ was false when you made it, or you acted in reckless disregard as to her allegiance to the United States,” the letter continued.
In further comments directed at Olbermann, Dhillon added that Gabbard “believes that free speech is a cornerstone of American democracy,” but that Olbermann’s assertions that Gabbard is a “Russian Asset” is “far outside of the bounds of free speech and civility. It is defamation.”
As for Romney, Gabbard blasted the nominally Republican Senator for his March 13 tweet in which he said Gabbard was spreading “Russian propaganda” and that her “treasonous lies may well cost lives.”
Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 13, 2022
“Your accusation that Representative Gabbard, a combat veteran and current military officer, has engaged in ‘treasonous’ activity is completely false, a fact of which you were well aware when you made your claim. And as explained below, your accusation that Representative Gabbard lied also has no basis in fact,” Dhillon wrote to Romney.
“Your allegation that Representative Gabbard spoke ‘treasonous lies’ is clear-cut defamation,” Dhillon continued.
“In her video, Representative Gabbard made the factual claim that there were American-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine,” Dhillon added. “The existence of biological laboratories in Ukraine is beyond dispute.”
Dhillon added that Gabbard “will likely be forced to pursue litigation concerning this matter” and warned the two that they should preserve all evidence in the case to prepare for that outcome.
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